Friday, April 22, 2016

Never look a gift carp in the mouth

The hottest day of the year so far got me thinking there'd be carp on the surface, and I might as well go and fail to catch one on a floater. Initially, when it was flat calm but roasting (the first t-shirt day of 2016) there were no carp to be seen. As soon as a breeze began to ruffle the surface they were cruising about. The wind was coming out of the east, the opposite of what it had been for a few days and the carp were heading down wind. Another guy doing some spotting saw them first, wandered off while I threw mixers in, and came back to say there was a group of fish right down wind.

One common had taken a floater but the rest were ignored so I went and threw some more at the congregation of carp that was easy to find. Again they were largely ignored, apart from one pair of lips braking surface briefly before the fish turned away. I gave up. Not completely. I reckoned that if i could get home, sort out some scran and some gear I might make it back in time to nick the closest swim from any other after-work anglers. So many carp in one area would surely give a carp duffer like me a chance? I made it with minutes, maybe one minute, to spare. With the swim-claiming banksticks in place I took my time sorting out some rigs - rigs no self respecting carper would use - before settling down to fry two sausages in their own fat because I'd forgotten the lard in my haste.

With the sun off the water the carp were no longer visible. Something I've noticed on here before. As soon as the water goes into shadow the carp either move or drop down.  There were a few swirls and splashes, but not all from carp. One or two looked a bit tenchy while others were definitely roachy. Sausage butties eaten, tea drunk, all I had to do was sit and wait.

Despite the new hat keeping the sun out of my eyes and Fred still in hiding in my rucksack I had a finicky looking drop back to the rod fishing where I expected the action to come from. As this was a popped up plastic pellet I wasn't expecting the fish I wound into to feel like a writhing eel. Half way in it began to feel like a small carp before reverting to eelish ways. Eventually it flashed yellowy-green and it's red eye stared at me as I drew it over the net. This time my guess was conservative and the fish nudged over the four pound mark. Back out with the rig, again over a sprinkling of pellets and it was time for more waiting.

There are two pairs of grebes nesting, one has eggs already the other is yet to start laying. Chiffchaff, chaffinch and a distant yellowhammer were among the birds singing their spring songs. With trees starting to green up and the marginal reeds spiking forth spring really did seem to have arrived. The forecast is for it to bugger off again. Maybe the fish would know that and get their heads down.

Although the rigs and baits were not much different to what I had been suing on my tench rods this time they were on the eleven foot three pound Torrixes. So I was carp fishing. Can I sink much lower? My excuse is that it's something to do until the tench put some weight on. Feeble...

Although the wind had felt a lot warmer than it had the other week when it was from the east it didn't take long for it to lose that warmth once the sun began to sink. I was glad of the big brolly I'd brought in case I decided to stop all night. Once I was behind that windbreak the option of stopping on felt much more like a goer. I'd still rethink around midnight. When the pellet bobbin dropped back before flying up at quarter to eleven the decision was made. I'd been getting odd bleeps that weren't wind related now and again suggesting that there were plenty of fish knocking around. This one was certainly no tench. It still didn't take long to bundle into the net. A fat, ugly thing it was too. With a missing pelvic fin ad someone else's hook in it's mouth next to mine. Unappealing as it was it was still a carp by design. Quite a turn up for my books. It didn't feel like much of an achievement though. Carp always disappoint me for some reason.

Out again with the rig and back to lying on the bedchair in my tatty old bunny suit. Apart from the occasional single bleep Roland trying to climb up one of my banksticks my night was mild and undisturbed. Until three or so when it turned decidedly cool and I got in the sleeping bag. Dawn broke red in the east as the full moon headed for the western horizon. Recast time. Damn. Two out of three rigs were tangled. No wonder those bleeps never turned into anything more substantial. Try again then make a brew.

Tea drunk and a carp stuck its head out of the water four feet from the end of my nearest rod. The one I'd cast into oblivion. Then bubbles appeared. it took me a while to wind the rig in and drop it and it's two grains of fake corn (one floating one sinking) in the edge on a slack line with a sprinkling of pellets over the top of it. It was worth a try. Eight o'clock was cut-off time as I had to get home because the gas man cometh. The day was warming up. Not sufficiently to remove the bunny suit, but definitely warming.

Seven twenty and the sounder woke up. I checked the farther two rods which I expected action on but they were inactive. It was the margin rod! A brief scrap, more of a swimming in circles, and a modest common hit the net.Two carp by design. What on earth is going on? The corn was dropped short again, more to get the rod out of the way as I started a slow packing up. That'll do me for carp for a while.  I was almost tempted to put together a short session carp bag, but they still don't do enough for me to want to bother. It's the idea of catching carp that appeals to me. The reality  makes me realise how much nicer it is to catch proper fish. Then again, if another sure fire opportunity arises I might still take it. Like I said, carp fishing is something to do when there are no better offers.